Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 10 E 01 Soultaker
Together on camera at least.

Film watched: Soultaker

Servo: So your soul is subject to gravity? I have so many questions! Can souls get toe fungus? Can I still have butter if I'm a soul? Okay, can souls pit out their T-shirts? Does Retsyn work on souls? Help me!

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation has examples of:

  • The Ace: Joel fixes everything that's wrong with the SOL in a few hours, among other great things... to poor Mike's evident chagrin.
  • Artistic License – Geography: Of the human geography variety. The Hot Fish Shop was a real restaurant, but it was in Winona (several hours' drive downriver), not Osseo (an outer-ring suburb of Minneapolis, in Hennepin County). And it closed the week before the episode aired.
  • Badass Beard: Joel has grown a snazzy little goatee since returning to Earth.
  • Brain Bleach: When Robert Z'Dar's crotch is thrust in Crow's face.
    Crow: Whoa, whoa, whoa! That took my soul, right there!
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Mike makes fun of Joe Estevez's slight slurring at one point:
    The Man: So that's your decision, then?
    Mike: So shat's your deshishion, shen?
  • Celebrity Resemblance: A woman in the film who's about to die looks like Art Garfunkel, according to Mike and the Bots.
    Tom: (singing) Like a bridge, over...
  • Celestial Bureaucracy: Second-Banana Heaven and possibly the entire afterlife is this, according to Frank.
  • Comically Missing the Point: The opening segment has the Bots holding a "wet t-shirt contest" by putting t-shirts in pans of water and comparing which is the most absorbent. They tell Mike they fail to see what the big deal is.
  • Continuity Nod: TV's Frank brings up Second Banana Heaven, stating that the politics there caused him to leave to become a Soultaker.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Bots' "alternate ending."
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: In-Universe, Mike and the bots take a lot more interest in the nuns getting on the bus than in the protagonists or the movie in general.
  • Evil Wears Black: Mike and the bots poke fun at the Soultaker's outfit by making a lot of Johnny Cash (aka The Man in Black) references.
    Mike: (as the Soultaker is walking down a hospital corridor) Because you're mine, I walk the intensive care unit.
  • For the Evulz: Dr. Forrester rigged the Satellite of Love to malfunction and crash back to Earth after ten years for no real reason.
  • Genre Blind: Servo on Dr. Forrester:
    Servo: I knew there was something wrong with that guy!
  • Happily Ever After: The Bots are unhappy with the movie's ending, so they suggest that after the credits, Zack's life completely falls apart; Mike asks if that isn't a little extreme, and they sarcastically suggest that he'd prefer an ending that's so unrealistically saccharine it makes the average Disney movie look bleak.
    Mike: So, there’s no middle ground with you? It’s either straining grain alcohol through toast in back alleys or a happy little world of rodents in feety pajamas?
    Crow: Well yeah, Mike. Why's that so hard to understand?
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: invoked Crow saying that he enjoys "spurning a clown" makes a lot of sense when, in various RiffTrax shorts, Bill Corbett really dislikes clowns.
  • Leave the Camera Running: The first indication that there's something wrong with the satellite comes when the show refuses to cut to commercials, leaving Mike and the Bots awkwardly standing in front of the camera in silence.
  • Les Yay: invoked
    Mike: Is there a name for Mom's little sickness?
    Servo: Yeah, Lilith Fair-ism.
  • Mary Sue: In-Universe: Given that the lead actress wrote the film, there's a couple jokes about her describing her own character as beautifully as possible.
    Servo: (as Natalie): "INTERIOR: BEDROOM. Me, draped across the bed, tousled but tawny. I lay there, hand on my taut tummy— still pretty, in a worried kind of way. Zoom in closer to my prettiness. Closer."
  • Missing the Good Stuff: Crow gets something in his eye and misses the footage of the heroine taking off her clothes. Mike and Tom intentionally invoke this trope by claiming that what happened was a lot hotter than what was actually depicted on-screen.
    Crow: Aw, hell, a robe?!
    Servo: I saw a lot! I saw everything!
    Crow: Shut up, Servo!
  • Mundane Afterlife: According to the riffers, Heaven is the boiler room of a hospital.
  • Mythology Gag: Mike's brief run down the theater corridor is hearkening alllll the way back to the KTMA days when Joel would do the same.
  • No-Sell: Apparently, Soultakers are more powerful than Observers.
  • Not So Different: TV's Frank and Bobo.
    Pearl: (beaming) I knew these two would get along.note 
  • Nuns Are Funny
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Gypsy, who is malfunctioning along with the rest of the ship. She repeatedly insults Mike until Joel fixes her.
  • Overcrank: Since Natalie's undressing scene is in slow motion, Mike and the Bots joke that now she has to put her clothes on in slow motion once the villain appears.
  • Running Gag: Rocking, as it relates to Zach's friend Brad.
    • Mike and the Bots get a lot of mileage out of Vivian Schilling's resemblance to Tonya Harding.
    • "I'm Ed Bradley..."
    • Summerfest
    • Natalie's actress also being the writer of the movie.
  • Serious Business: The Bots are quite offended at the line "Led Zeppelin was wrong."
    Servo: "Hey, shut up, man! Zep is never wrong!!"
  • Series Continuity Error: Dr. Forrester rigged the SoL to slowly self-destruct after ten years, which happens now, despite the SoL being over 500 years old by the events of season 8.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A picture of Martin Van Buren appears during Joel's attempt to contact the SoL, as a sign of Cambot malfunctioning.
    Mike: Hey, what's goin' on?
    Servo: Why, it's Martin Van Buren, our nation's eighth president.
    • Joel mentions that he'd spent a couple years doing pyrotechnics for the band Man Or Astroman (which had done its own Shout-Out to MST3K by performing a rendition of the closing "Love Theme" for their 1994 album).
    • As Joe Estevez tries to convince Natalie to come with him, Crow asks, "Aren't you due on the set of Werewolf?"
    • As the SOL begins fully breaking down, Crow can be heard singing "Nearer My God To Thee", which was reportedly the last song played by the musicians on the Titanic before it sank.
    • A riff on the title involves Servo singing "It's the SOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUL-taker!"
  • Something Completely Different: Besides two hosts on-screen at the same time towards the end of the episode, there's the various malfunctions that the ship goes through, including Gypsy acting out-of-character and Mike running through part of the door hallway.
  • Special Guest/The Bus Came Back: Joel Robinson and TV's Frank make guest appearances: TV's Frank is stuck with being a Soultaker, while Joel returns to fix various problems aboard the Satellite of Love.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Joel - once a humble janitor, now manager of his own Hot Fish Shop! In Osseo!
    • Made funnier if one knew that the Hot Fish Shop (in Winona, not Osseo) closed the weekend the episode aired.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Gypsy, being hooked up to the malfunctioning satellite, rapidly develops something of an attitude problem.
    • Joel, of all people. Sure, he helped them fix the Satellite of Love, but his initial response when Mike and the Bots ask him for help getting back to earth? "I don't really want to." before coming up with a flimsy pep talk to convince them to remain aboard and watch bad movies.
    • Dr. Forrester manages to take a level posthumously when it's revealed he deliberately designed the satellite to self-destruct after 10 years.
  • Trivially Obvious: Servo compares Soultaker to the works of Akira Kurosawa, saying that both are films.
  • Voodoo Shark: The riffers lampshade that the whole soul explanation raises a lot of questions that the movie doesn't seem interested in answering.
  • Waxing Lyrical: Triggered by the burnout soultaker who always wears shades.
    Mike: Hey by the way, do you wear your sunglases at night so you can, so you can keep track of the visions in your dreams?
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Mike claims to have fixed the ship, and asks the question. "How about everything??"
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: Inverted by Mike as Zach, to a confused Natalie: "Hey look, you wrote this crap."